Mother Duck

It was so cute.  We were sitting on top of Monona Terrace high above beautiful Lake Monona enjoying the warm Mother’s Day afternoon sunshine with visiting friends when a hen mallard came waddling around a corner with her 12 [...]

The Pantry

The first food pantry I remember seeing was my Godparents Doc and Katherine’s pantry, in their larger-than-life home in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.  It was a walk-in pantry with a window-filled wooden door that was always [...]

Zest

Zest is the great zeal and enthusiasm I feel about cooking.  I absolutely love to cook.  I also like to think about cooking, and even sometimes reminisce about things I have cooked.  But I don’t really do that that often.  Once [...]

Umami

Everyone knows about the four basic tastes of sweetness, bitterness, saltiness and sourness.  But there is also a fifth—Umami–and it’s starting to get the recognition it deserves.  Umami is a Japanese term that when loosely [...]

RSVP

I think I have figured out a mystery that has puzzled me for years.  The mystery lies in the phenomenon that when you invite people to a social event, and ask that they RSVP, they do not.  They don’t do anything.  In other words, they [...]

Quail Eggs

Quail eggs are tiny little things, easy to overcook and too small to make a significant egg sandwich.  They also don’t seem to stay fresh very long after you get them, as the white part evaporates leaving just the yolk.  In [...]

Pasta

Every time I teach a pasta class I am asked if I make pasta all the time at home, since I make it look so easy in class.  My answer is I really should, but I actually do not.  The main reason that I don’t is because I [...]

Octopus

One of my favorite ingredients to have when I eat sushi is Tako–otherwise known as octopus.  I love the chewy texture and sweet light flavor of the Tako, and it is fun to see the portions of suction cups on thinly-sliced octopus [...]

Nuts

You don’t hear “Nuts!” much anymore, at least as an exclamation.  “Nuts!”  It feels kind of good to say it again.  It’s been a while.  I am going to try to remember to use it.  You can use it anywhere.  Kids Cooking Classes, Teen [...]

Meat

Ask me what my favorite food is and I used to say meat.  It is still up towards the top of my favorites list but I have rounded it out a bit.  I like a bit of sauce with my meat.  I know the joke about not climbing the food chain all [...]

Lutefisk

It has been said that lutefisk is an acquired taste.  For those of you that do not know what lutefisk is I will tell you.  It is a gelatinous Norwegian/Swedish fish specialty made of white fish.  To make lutefisk you take air-dried or [...]

Kids Cooking Classes

  Someone once asked me, “What is the difference between teaching kids and teaching adults?”  My answer: “Adults are taller.” But there are some differences.  What is great about teaching kids is that they come with a fairly clean [...]

IPA

India Pale Ale (IPA) is currently and has been for several years now, my favorite style of fermented malt and hop beverage.  I love the bitterness of the hops.  We have some hop plants in one of our gardens and it is fun to use the hop [...]

Hemmachef

I have always been proud of my Norwegian-American Heritage.  It was natural for me to take Norwegian to fulfill my language requirement as I worked on my sociology degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  But it was harder than [...]

Fish

I never realized how much I liked the tradition of Friday Fish Fries in Wisconsin until I moved to Colorado.  I began to crave them, mostly because I couldn’t find one in Colorado (not because I was addicted to the Friday Fish [...]

Etiquette

It was my nephew and niece who were the inspiration for my children’s Cooking, Manners and Etiquette class.  I remember sitting and eating with them at a family gathering and thinking “Ughhhh!!”  As with a lot of parents, my [...]

Birthday Parties

As you get older, birthdays take on a significance that you don’t necessarily feel or understand when you are younger.  It is great to just have another birthday.  Now I am not that old, but I am glad for each and every birthday [...]

April Fools

I have never been very good at thinking of April Fools’ jokes, not usually until April 2 anyway, and there’s no way I can remember them until the next year.  Maybe I should do what I do with my ideas for classes – put them in [...]

Corned Goose

One of the best days fishing I have had during the last few years (once my Dad couldn’t really go fishing anymore), was a summer day I didn’t actually catch anything.  I know it can be said that a bad day fishing is better [...]

Pass the Salt

It is always a good idea to ask folks who are coming to your place for dinner (or any meal for that matter) if they have any food allergies, concerns and generally if there is anything they do not eat.  As a host and chef I would [...]

Bread Spread 

Butter and margarine have been feuding for years.  The feud began shortly after margarine was introduced to the United States in the 1870’s.  In 1886 the federal Margarine Act was passed placing a tax on the sale of margarine and [...]

Bean Dip

O! be some other name:          What’s in a name? that which we call a rose    By any other name would smell as sweet; — Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare   It is all in a name, how you describe something, the language you [...]

Cut!

Some pieces of beef are easy to identify.  Ground round, ground chuck, ground sirloin, tenderloin, chuck roast, brisket and flank steak are just a few easily identified cuts of beef, if only because they are labeled.  We pretty much [...]

Company Food

It is so much fun to entertain.  You pick the date and the time, pick the guests, choose the menu, get out the fine china and crystal, polish the sterling silver and iron the linens.  Well, at least you pick the date, invite the guests [...]

Dribs, Dollops and Drabs

My Dad used to keep everything, from short lengths of string to 4-inch ends of 2×4’s. He kept all sizes of jars, margarine containers, ice cream buckets and also egg cartons, which he gave to an Amish family who sold eggs at the [...]

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